A parallel WBS for international projects
When directing global projects, the International Project Manager (IPM) faces challenges that are both cross-border (logistical), and cross-cultural (related to differing values, assumptions, and behavioral norms). This article recommends creating a parallel Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for managing the global aspects of a project, with an extensive, detailed version for the principal project and a modest version for managing the international dimensions. The recommended model includes formation of a Cultural Risk Management (CRM) team, headed by a Culture Risk Manager. The CRM team's objective is to predict and manage potential risks and to help transition and integrate recently arrived assignees from abroad into their on-site work situation.